Gary Taylor returned home to his Heavenly Father on September 15, 2021. His body succumbed to the challenges of Alzheimer's Disease, and he passed peacefully in his sleep.
Gary was born in Fargo, North Dakota, on February 16, 1943, to Morris and Beth Taylor. As a young child he moved with his family to Hyde Park, Utah (just north of Logan). Growing up he helped take care of the chickens the family raised. He attended North Cache High School and Utah State University. He graduated from Utah State with a master's degree in speech pathology and audiology, and gerontology.
Gary inherited from his father a love for new cars. In many old photos you can tell the year based on the car he was driving even before you see the ages of the people. His cars included classy Cadillacs, functional vans, and even a whimsical VW New Beetle that he had decorated to look like a Chevron car with a smile on the front bumper and eye lashes on the headlights.
In 1969 he married Dixie Reed with whom he celebrated a 50th wedding anniversary a few years back. Around this same time, he began managing nursing homes in the Midwest where his sons, Kevin and Kyle, were born.
In 1974, while visiting Utah to see family and attend General Conference, he heard about a retirement home that was coming up for sale. He spent the remainder of that trip preparing a proposal to purchase it. After some negotiations, he became the owner of the Salt Lake Home, one of Utah's first retirement communities. He continued to run the Salt Lake Home while adding other retirement and assisted living communities to the business including Golden Living Center, Heritage Place, and Chateau Brickyard. He remained active in the business until he sold the company in 2013 at which time he unwillingly went into retirement. No matter how the business grew – or the industry changed during the years he worked in assisted living – he always said that he got into the business to, "take care of little old ladies."
Gary was musically gifted and shared this gift as a Tenor in the Mormon Tabernacle Choir between 1981 and 2002. Singing with this choir gave him the opportunity to see many parts of the world on tours, including Japan, Australia, Western Europe, Israel, and a World's Fair in Vancouver, Canada. He also had the chance to be part of welcoming the world to Salt Lake City singing in the opening ceremonies of the 2002 Winter Olympics.
Through all this his focus remained on his family. He always made sure his sons had jobs in the family business. He made sure his sons could snow ski, even though he couldn't. (The question he had was how his sons could grow up in Utah without knowing how.) Gary also did everything he could to keep the family close. In Hyde Park, Gary convinced his parents to build a pool at their home – including laying out the budget for how they could afford it. His experience with the swimming pool was so good that he once again built a swimming pool in the home he raised his family in.
Shortly after the home and pool were completed, Gary told the family that they never needed a boat because they had this pool. A few years later, when one of his sons asked him if they could have a boat (despite knowing the rule), Gary agreed. (The other son, 11 at the time, wrote out the deposit check.) Shared time in the water echoed through years of family activities and gave the family fun ways to share time together whether it was days at a local lake with a half-dozen friends, trips to Lake Powell, or spending time at Last Chance Lakes.
His family has grown from two sons to also include another son, Ivan Tcherniaev, who adopted the family, three daughters-in-law and seven grandchildren. This does not even account for the countless friends and family who have lived in his home for extended periods or the many missionaries he has supported through the years. For many years, the times there was an extra person living in the home were more regular that when there wasn't.
Gary is a firm believer in Jesus Christ. While a young man he was a missionary in Sweden, visiting the home city of his ancestors to share the gospel of Christ. Later in life, he spent countless hours arranging groups to provide service in temples of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Even after losing his sight, he continued to reach out, arranging frequent opportunities for neighbors to serve together. To the end, he could often be heard in prayer, stringing together lists of gratitude when much of his ability to speak has been lost.
Gary is preceded in death by his parents, Morris and Beth Hobbs Taylor. He is survived by his siblings Gordon (Susan) Taylor, Graig (Bonnie) Taylor, Genan (Wayne) Anderson, Grant (Nina) Taylor, and Mary Gay (Stan) Jones; his wife, Dixie Reed Taylor; his sons Kevin (Nicole) Taylor, Kyle (Alena) Taylor, and Ivan (Carrie) Tcherniaev. Grandchildren are Conner Taylor, Kate Tcherniaev, Anne Tcherniaev, Lilly Taylor, Beth Taylor, Max Taylor, and Andrew Taylor.
Special thanks to the caring staff at Sunrise of Sandy for their attentive, compassionate care and help.
A viewing will be held at Larkin Sunset Garden, 1950 E Dimple Dell Road (10600 S.), on Monday September 20, 2021, from 6 – 8 PM. An additional viewing will be held at the ward house, 7784 S. Forest Bend Drive on Tuesday, September 21, 2021, beginning at 10 AM with services to follow at 11 AM. Interment to follow at Larkin Sunset Gardens.
Published by Deseret News from Sep. 17 to Sep. 19, 2021.